The Spot: Inside Colorado House Republicans’ war with themselves

Provided by History Colorado

Ku Klux Klan members parade in Denver on May 31, 1926. The parade preceded a convention of klansmen from across the state at the Cotton Mills Stadium in South Denver. (Provided by History Colorado)

The pervasiveness of the Ku Klux Klan was hard to miss in Denver — members worked everywhere: the mayor’s office, the governor’s office, pie companies, pharmacies, the zoo, the jail and The Denver Post.

Arguably the single wildest hour of Colorado’s legislative session was right after it ended.

While most lawmakers headed home for the summer, the House GOP convened Tuesday in a basement room at the Capitol for a meeting called by one of their newest members, Rep. Ron Hanks, who is best known for having attended the pro-Trump rally at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The second thing the Penrose Republican is known for is he made a joke about lynching on the House floor this year, before a speech about how the Three-Fifths compromise wasn’t racist.

To the 24 caucus members gathered, Hanks complained they were ineffective, unwilling to fight the Democrats in the majority and generally rudderless. He called for the ousting of the caucus leader, Loveland Rep. Hugh McKean. Over about 45 minutes, the Republicans snapped at one another, cursed, fought over the basic rules of how the meeting should be run — all in front of the media and House GOP staffers.

Recall that McKean became the leader because the caucus decided to move on from former leader and current Rep. Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, who has a record of going after his own colleagues and has been accused by former and sitting Republican lawmakers of mismanaging campaign funds.

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The pro-Neville faction, of which Hanks is a part, appears to be even more out of power than a year ago. Other than Lauren Boebert, the far-right, no-compromise culture-war stuff just hasn’t worked on voters, which is one big reason the Colorado GOP is out of power.

McKean survived the attempted overthrow, by the way, in a 15-8 vote, which didn’t include himself. The moral of the story? It’s hard to get your way in the minority, period. It’s much harder when your teammates can’t stand one other.

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Provided by History ColoradoKu Klux Klan members parade in Denver on May 31, 1926. The parade preceded a convention of klansmen from across the state at the Cotton Mills Stadium in South Denver. (Provided by History Colorado)

The pervasiveness of the Ku Klux Klan was hard to miss in Denver — members worked everywhere: the mayor’s office, the governor’s office, pie companies, pharmacies, the zoo, the jail and The Denver Post. Read about the ripple effects that linger today.

Capitol Diary • By Erica Hunzinger
Just the links

You may not have been glued to The Colorado Channel, political Twitter or The Post’s website on the final days of the legislative session. Fear not, it’s easy to catch up on what passed and what died thanks to the Post’s statehouse reporters Alex Burness and Saja Hindi. Just click on the following links.

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If nothing else, find out the four major takeaways from the 2021 session and where the major pieces of legislation stand.

Data privacy: It’s …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

      

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